Challenge 10: Mirrored Projections

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Background Research

Having a second screen to do work on can make a big difference in efficiency in school, work or design. Unfortunately, a monitor can be expensive, bulky, and are as a rule not portable. Some people choose to use projectors as a way to make their screen bigger, but often even the “pocket” projectors are bulky and take up desk space. Therefore, we think it is time to figure out how to improve upon current projector models to find something more compact, portable, or affordable for on the go people.

Last Wednesday, we talked to a projector specialist at Micro Center to get a better understanding of what goes into a projector. Because a projector needs a light bulb, a laser, and multiple mirrors to display images, it is very difficult to make one that is of a compact size. Not to mention an overheating problem and a necessity for roughly 4,000 lumens in order to be visible during daylight. The most compact product he recommended was the ASUS S1, which is 4” x 4.4” x1.2” and ¾ of a pound. The S1 does a couple of things really well, bringing excellent speakers with it, adding features like the ability to charge your phone, and a really sleek simple design. However, it is still $320 and needs to be a full meter away to throw its best picture at 41”. 

One of the most exciting models on the market is the LG Ultra Short Throw LED Projector. This projector only needs to be “15 from the surface to project a 100” screen onto the wall. This is really innovative, as the projector uses an extra mirror externally to reflect back on itself. The innovation comes at a hefty price tag of $1150, and LG is trying to sell it as a TV replacement. It is certainly too bulky to fit the bill of what we are looking for, and too expensive as well. 

The most mobile model we fund was the Moto Insta-Share projector, which comes closest to the type of compact model we were looking for. It fits right on the back of a phone, and has really strong customer reviews. It is only able to attain 480p definition, which is a bit low, the speakers needed to be cut to fit in such a small package, it isn’t particularly bright, and it still costs $300. It also only works as an attachment for a very specific type of phone, but is a promising piece of technology either way that has been very successful.

 Overall the weak points of some of the industry leaders include price point, versatility, portability, and effective throw distance. Some of them are good at one or more of these things, but they all seem to sacrifice something important to get there.

Our Solution 

Mirrored is a highly portable projector that clips on to the back of your laptop screen, allowing for a projected desktop anywhere you go. It was designed with students and professionals in mind, who might be working at a desk with a wall behind them but unable to fit or afford an expensive monitor for dual screen capabilities.

Technology has come a long way for projectors and portable electronics recently, and we will soon be able to take advantage of recent advances to make Mirrored as compact and affordable as possible. The key technological features include: 

  • Improving Direct Green Laser (DGL) technology, which allows for more compact, heat resistant and high-resolution picture 
  • Single chip DLP technology is the most affordable and smallest option on the market right now, and is only getting better 
  • Microelectromechanical systems getting smaller allows for tinier mirrors for the reflection of lasers within the projector 
  • By using a USB to connect to the laptop as a power source, space can be saved on battery 
  • Due to the high heat resistance of the DGL technology and the use of the USB power source, space will be saved on fan, ventilation, and heat sinks, allowing for the size of the projector to stay as small as possible 
  • Mimicking the new LG Ultra Short Throw projector, we have included two curved external mirrors to allow our projection to be amplified and thrown at the wall from a much shorter distance. This is perfect for working in small areas like a desk at home or at the office. 

Mirrored Projections is designed to be a minimally invasive attachment to your laptop that allows you to turn anywhere you are into into a high functioning dual screen workspace. By taking advantage of new technology and innovations in projector design, we are able to create a compact, and portable projector for on the go people without compromising on quality.

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Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_micromirror_device

http://www.osram-os.com/osram_os/en/products/product-promotions/laser-diodes/direct-green-laser-diodes/index.jsp

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handheld_projector

http://www.lg.com/us/home-video/lg-PF1000U-smart-led-projector

http://www.stampedeglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Christie-1Chip-vs-LCDTechnology.pdf

https://www.cnet.com/news/why-lasers-are-the-future-of-projectors/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_projector

https://www.projectorpeople.com/resources/display-def.asp#

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handheld_projector

The Noun Project artwork used by (Left to Right): Nikol Kokešová, Ker’is, Kidilidon and Vicons Design

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